It is the biggest event on the planet. Notice that no adjectives were placed before “event.” The 2014 FIFA World Cup can’t be classified or qualified—every four years the planet stops in celebration of a tournament that has been known to topple empires and stop civil wars.
As you can imagine, the Internet sees a dramatic influx of World Cup-related content during the month-long sports competition. Blogs, message and discussion boards, people want to know the schedules, game times, opponents, venues, injury reports, match-ups, etc., etc., and the search engines have to deal with the huge increase in traffic while still providing fast and accurate results.
For the 2014 Cup, Google has created the “OneBox,” similar to its knowledge graph that appears to the right of the search results. OneBox will attempt to answer general questions and provide further information.
Beyond the traffic and interest, web crawlers have to deal with how companies advertise on their search platforms. Much like the Super Bowl, the World Cup is a trademarked item and has intellectual property protection associated with it. So if a local shirt company wants to advertise having “World Cup T-shirts,” they won’t be able to display that add on Google.
“Google has been stung several times over the use of trademarks in AdWords ads. Google’s current policy on using third-party trademarks in AdWords campaigns allows advertisers to bid on others’ trademarked keywords, but does not permit those terms to be used in ad text,” reported Ginny Marvin of SearchEngineLand.com.
With the hearts and souls of many on the line when they want the information about their national team, the hope is that the search engines can find a balance between profit and knowledge.